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Assistant Teaching Artist: Intermediate/Advanced Strings Ensemble - Winston-Salem Symphony

Title: Assistant Teaching Artist (Intermediate/Advanced Strings Ensemble – middle school grade level)

Piedmont Learning Academy for Youth Music (P.L.A.Y. Music)

Department: Education Department

Reports to: Rachel Watson, Senior Director of Education, Engagement & Inclusion

Salary: Winston-Salem Symphony (WSS) Education Service Rate of $20 per 30-minute service (inclusive of FICA). All Teaching Artists will be compensated for classroom time, meetings (including performance reviews), approved professional development time, approved planning time, and concerts/Seminario.

Start Date: September 2023

Hours: Part-time, approximately 2 - 4 hours per week

Schedule and Work Commitment:

  • Follows the 2023-2024 WS/FCS student calendar.

  • Thursdays, 4:30pm-6:30pm

Position Summary: Responsible for assisting the Lead Teaching Artist/Strings Ensemble Conductor with the intermediate/advanced middle school (6th-8th grades) strings ensemble in P.L.A.Y. Music, a Winston-Salem Symphony music education program. You will ensure the highest quality string education experience for students, will read and follow the Lead Teaching Artist’s lesson plans based on a set curriculum and pedagogy, and support each child holistically. You will support the El Sistema philosophy through the development of well-rounded musical citizens and the encouragement of community and family involvement.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Assist and support the needs of the classroom as directed by the Lead Teaching Artist including but not limited to: tuning instruments, adjusting posture, helping with note reading, playing in the section, providing sectional and coaching support, and behavior/classroom management.

  • Read and follow the weekly lesson plans created by the Lead Teaching Artist.

  • Assist and support the needs of the Site Manager by helping complete administrative duties such as taking attendance, making copies, handing out music, snacks, taking students to the restroom, classroom set up and cleanup, and other tasks as needed.

  • Assist with student dismissal procedures.

  • Encourage learning in a safe environment that builds students’ self-esteem and confidence.

  • Communicate and build a rapport with students in the class.

  • Participate in P.L.A.Y. Music staff meetings, special events, concerts, and ongoing professional development workshops as assigned.

  • Assist with supervision, management, rehearsals, and performances of 150+ children within the entirety of the P.L.A.Y. Music program including but not limited to: tuning instruments, playing in the section, behavior, procedure, and discipline management.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Special Requirements

Requirements include (but are not limited to):

  • Bachelor’s degree in Music Education or Music Performance preferred.

  • Specialize in Violin, Viola, Cello, or Bass

  • Experience in teaching music in a group/ensemble setting.

  • Proficient on most, if not all, string instruments in order to work with the entire ensemble.

  • Experience working in an El Sistema-inspired program or working in a low-income or historically marginalized community highly preferred.

  • Interest and ability to be a motivational mentor and role model for students, parents, and peers as an artist, teacher, and citizen.

  • Strong understanding and commitment to El Sistema’s philosophy of social change through music and the missions of the Winston-Salem Symphony.

  • Flexibility and creativity to adapt to curriculum goals and ability to work collaboratively.

  • Strong classroom management skills.

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Ability to stand for at least 2 – 2.5 hours.

  • Ability to work during assigned program hours as well as additional hours for meetings, professional development and scheduled concerts.

  • Ability to work under frequent observation.

  • Ability to work under the supervision of the Lead Teaching Artist, Substitute Teaching Artists, the P.L.A.Y. Music Program Administrator and the Senior Director of Education, Engagement & Inclusion.

  • Successful completion of background checks through both the Winston-Salem Symphony and WS/FC Schools.

  • Bilingual in Spanish a plus.

Dress Code: Teaching Artists are expected to dress in clothing that conveys a professional appearance at all times. All shirts and blouses must avoid unprofessional exposure of bare skin and undergarments. Pants and shorts must be free of holes. Unacceptable garments include: Shirts with spaghetti straps; graphic T-shirts featuring tobacco, alcoholic beverage, and other “adult” or socially inappropriate messaging; “short-shorts,” and exercise attire. Performance attire will either be a P.L.A.Y. Music staff t-shirt and dark pants or all black attire (depending on event).

Program Summary: P.L.A.Y. Music is the Winston-Salem Symphony’s El Sistema-inspired music education program that uses music as a vehicle to provide building blocks for student growth and places an emphasis on teaching the whole child: head, heart, and hands. The focus of the curriculum is to instill in each child a thankfulness for their background and place in the world, an appreciation for those different than themselves, and to better themselves holistically through active contribution and participation in an ensemble. Additionally, the program strives to assist students to excel academically – particularly in the area of early childhood literacy – by creatively including academic activities in each music lesson.

El Sistema Philosophy: “El Sistema’s approach to music education emphasizes intensive ensemble participation from the earliest stages, group learning, peer teaching and a commitment to keeping the joy and fun of musical learning and music making ever-present. The backbone of El Sistema training is preparation for participation in orchestral ensembles, which are the soul of the nucleo community and culture. Of equal importance are choral singing, folk music, jazz, special needs programs, and various other ensembles, which adapt well to a diversity of musical genres and origins.” Learn more here:

An Equal Opportunity Employer

It is the policy of the Winston-Salem Symphony to provide all persons with equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, disability, age or Veteran Status.

To Apply: Email your resume and cover letter to Rachel Watson, Senior Director of Education, Engagement & Inclusion at along with a completed WSS Employment Application (linked below).

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